Sources said last week that Kelly Broadcasting Systems was
close to completing a deal to buy the foreign-language-programming assets of SkyView World
Media LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection last summer.
EchoStar Communications Corp. announced plans to buy the
assets in December, but those plans fell through before the end of that month.
Kelly Broadcasting CEO Michael Kelly would not confirm the
deal. An attorney representing SkyView's trustees did not return calls at press time.
Direct-broadcast satellite analysts agreed that a deal
between Kelly Broadcasting and SkyView would make sense.
"I suspect that they'll try to get the most
favorable price they can get," Alpert & Associates president Mickey Alpert said.
"There isn't anybody else who seems to be waiting in the wings."
A spokesman for DirecTV Inc. said the company plans to
discontinue its dedicated foreign-language-programming platform at the medium-power Galaxy
III-R satellite, which had initially offered SkyView channels and now also includes some
Kelly Broadcasting fare.
DirecTV plans to migrate owners of the GIII-R reception
hardware to high-power systems that can see the 119 degrees west longitude orbital
spectrum. The DBS company plans to move all of its Kelly Broadcasting foreign-language
channels to 119 degrees over time, although no specific time frame was given.
In December, Kelly Broadcasting signed a deal with DirecTV
to provide up to 16 non-Hispanic ethnic channels starting in the first quarter of this
Kelly Broadcasting also sells four foreign-language
channels to EchoStar for its Dish Network service. EchoStar has exclusive rights to some,
but not all, of those channels on DBS.
In other DBS news, Telesat Canada is expected to announce
plans this week to enter the U.S. market.
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